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COM 520, Spring 2013 – Reading Guide Questions for April 17

For Tracy & Standerfer: 

1.  On pp. 113-117, you are offered contextual and historical information about the school board.  Why does the bona fide perspective value this type of information?  What utility does it have toward your understanding of the talk the school board engages in?  Would the other three theoretical perspectives we discussed at the start of the semester find this information useful?

2. Do you find the close analysis of the actual talk useful?  How do Tracy and Standerfer use it to, for example, illustrate the dilemma faced by group members who don’t agree with the majority?  To illustrate Shoemaker’s goals in challenging Ceruli?

3. Upon reading the discussion on pp.129-131: What’s different when you focus on “deliberation” instead of “decision making?”  Are these distinctions useful?

4. How would this study be different if it followed functional theory instead of the bona fide perspective?

5. What distinctions can you identify between “discussion” and “deliberation?” How would the school board’s discourse be different if it adopted the perspective of dialogue?  Would that be preferable?  How about confrontation?

For Barge:

1. In your own words, what does he mean by "language games?"  What examples of language games does he provide?

2. In the context of "discussion," explain what he means by "problem talk" in your own words.  What's his problem with problem talk?

3. In the context of debate, explain "second-guessing" and "vigilant interaction" in your own words.  What arguments can you make for and against these practices?

4. In the right column of 165 onto 166, he offers two arguments against discussion.  Translate each into your own words.  Do you agree with these perspectives?  Why or why not?

5. Explain the stages of appreciative inquiry (AI) in your own words.  How are they different from or similar to the stages suggested by functional theory?  Do you find AI appealing or not?  Why?

6. What exactly is dialogue?  How is it different from debate?  When is one preferable over the other?

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